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USFK Command Sgt. Maj. Barry Wheeler said during his monthly radio show on American Forces Network that military officials are considering having servicemembers wear armor and carry weapons more often.
USFK Command Sgt. Maj. Barry Wheeler said during his monthly radio show on American Forces Network that military officials are considering having servicemembers wear armor and carry weapons more often. (S&S photo)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Uniform requirements for U.S. Forces Korea servicemembers may change in the near future, making body armor more routine and physical-fitness outfits more common, according to the highest-ranking soldier on the peninsula.

Military officials are considering having servicemembers wear armor and carry weapons more often, USFK Command Sgt. Maj. Barry Wheeler said during his monthly radio show on American Forces Network.

Young men and women live with their weapons in basic training, he said during the hourlong show. But their first duty station doesn’t always continue that practice, he said.

“We have to train as we fight,” he said. “When you go to theater, it’s not the first time you should have carried a weapon.”

Wheeler also said the command is considering relaxing rules about where servicemembers can wear their physical fitness, or PT, uniforms. In the future, the Army’s gray T-shirts and black shorts, for example, might be allowed in Post Exchange stores, dining facilities and snack bars, he said.

The change, Wheeler added, would call for “good, common sense.” A PT uniform wouldn’t be allowed, he said, “if it’s dripping with sweat and B.O.”

Wheeler didn’t give a timeline for either change.

Also during his Friday show, Wheeler reminded servicemembers to register to vote for the upcoming elections. State-by-state instructions are at www.fvap.gov.

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